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NEWS
October 16, 2015 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writer benderw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5255
PENNSYLVANIA Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin broke his silence yesterday and apologized for his involvement in a convoluted email scandal that continues to smolder around the state. Eakin is facing renewed scrutiny after the Daily News last week reported on inappropriate emails he had sent or received using a Yahoo email address he created under the name "John Smith. " The emails - some containing nudity and racist or sexist jokes and videos - wound up on state servers because the sender or one of the recipients was an employee of the state Attorney General's Office and used their government email address.
NEWS
October 16, 2015 | By Chris Palmer, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - In their first and possibly only debate, the seven candidates competing to fill three seats in a historic election for Pennsylvania's Supreme Court vowed Wednesday to restore credibility and honor to the beleaguered institution. During the forum at Widener University Law School, the potential justices began touting their integrity and accountability almost from the opening bell. It's "a sad era for our court system to have to go through," said Paul Panepinto, a Philadelphia judge and the only candidate running as an independent.
NEWS
October 15, 2015 | By Caitlin McCabe, Inquirer Staff Writer
A group of Concord Township residents dislikes the local supervisors so much that it spent the last year fighting to force them out of office. On Tuesday, days after the group's efforts were abruptly halted, the residents were considering what might be next. After the state Supreme Court last week denied the group's last-chance petition for extraordinary relief - ending a 14-month battle - the group questioned whether its fierce fight might indeed be over. The five members of the Delaware County township's board of supervisors can breathe a sigh of relief, as their jobs are safe for now. The residents wanted to put a referendum question on the November ballot that, if passed, would have removed the five from office.
NEWS
October 9, 2015 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writer benderw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5255
SCROLL THROUGH state Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin's private inbox and it seems as if everyone is in on the joke: judges, state prosecutors, assistant U.S. attorneys, public defenders, private lawyers. Everyone, of course, except the defendants or victims who could wind up in their courtrooms or offices. Have you ever heard the joke about the domestic-violence victim who is urged by her doctor to just keep her mouth shut? Or the one about the guy who tased a woman before having sex with her in the park?
NEWS
October 3, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia death-row inmate who has become an unlikely poster child in the state's ongoing fight over the morality of capital punishment has received one more chance to potentially fend off his execution, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court. That court agreed Thursday to scrutinize the role played in the case by a major figure in the recent history of Pennsylvania courts and Philadelphia politics: Ronald D. Castille. The high court announced it would take up the appeal by Terrance Williams, convicted in the 1984 beating death of a Germantown church deacon, who argues that Pennsylvania's former chief justice should not have taken part in a decision to uphold his punishment last year.
NEWS
September 26, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - The New Jersey Supreme Court on Thursday relaxed the standard by which police may search an automobile without obtaining a warrant, ruling that the current test "does not provide greater liberty or security" to the state's residents "and has placed on law enforcement unrealistic and impracticable burdens. " With the 5-2 decision, the high court reversed precedent, finding that its previous standard had resulted in unintended consequences such as a surge in consent searches and prolonged roadside stops.
NEWS
September 24, 2015 | By Chris Palmer, Inquirer Staff Writer
The seven candidates running for Pennsylvania Supreme Court raised a combined $2.8 million this summer, according to campaign reports out Tuesday. The total is likely to bolster the widespread theory that the race for three seats - the only election nationwide involving a state's high court - will attract large donations from well-heeled individuals and interest groups. Between January and June, donors contributed about $5.6 million to candidates in the race. Nearly half the money donated in the 13-week stretch that ended in mid-September landed in the coffers of David Wecht, a Superior Court judge and Democrat from Allegheny County.
NEWS
September 23, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - In an unprecedented move, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday suspended the law license of Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane, a step that could increase the chances that the legislature will try to remove her from office. The high court's decision was unanimous, endorsed by the court's three Republicans and two Democrats. Lawyers for the state disciplinary board that oversees lawyers sought the suspension after Kane was charged last month with perjury, obstruction, and other offenses stemming from allegations that she illegally leaked grand jury material and then lied about it under oath.
NEWS
September 23, 2015 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writer benderw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5255
WOULD A ROSE by any other name smell as sweet? Can an attorney general without a law license be the attorney general? That is the question Pennsylvania is pondering, after the state Supreme Court yesterday took the unprecedented action of suspending state Attorney General Kathleen Kane's license to practice law. 'Tis yet the latest act in our midsummer night's dream of ruination and recrimination, pornography and misogyny, spying and lying....
NEWS
September 21, 2015 | By Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers
In December, a judge issued a confidential opinion to state Attorney General Kathleen Kane: You can put out the porn. "It all should be released," the judge wrote. The same month, the state Supreme Court agreed. Nonetheless, Kane told the public in August that she fervently wanted to release all the "filthy" material but that the courts were standing in the way. Exasperated, the jurists then made their previously private decisions public. And last week, Kane again proclaimed her desire to name the porn recipients - even as her taxpayer-paid lawyers argued in court that the recipients' identities and the emails should remain private.
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